Neville Alexander Building


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Neville Alexander Building

Alternative Title

Humanities Building


Formerly named the School of Humanities Building and the Humanities Building. Neville Alexander was born on 22 October 1936 in Cradock, Eastern Cape. He spent six years at the University of Cape Town obtaining a BA in German and History in 1955 and late completed an Honours and a MA in German. He obtained his PhD from the University of Tübingen in 1961. Alexander was a member of the Cape Peninsula Students' Union and a member of the African Peoples Democratic Union of Southern Africa. In 1964, he was convicted of conspiracy to commit sabotage and was imprisoned on Robben Island from 1964–1974. After being released Alexander did pioneering work in the field of language policy and planning in South Africa from the early 1980s via organisations such as the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA). He founded and was Director of PRAESA from 1992 until the end of 2011 and a member of the Interim Governing Board of the African Academy of Languages. His most recent work focused on the tension between multilingualism and the hegemony of English in the public sphere. Alexander received the Linguapax Prize for 2008. He received the Order of the Disa, a provincial honour, granted to him for his long commitment to socio-political issues and education. Alexander was a giant intellect who chose principle over power and reason and reflection over empty sloganeering. Alexander had devoted more than twenty years of his professional life to defend and preserve multilingualism in the post-apartheid South Africa and remains one of the major advocates of linguistic diversity. Neville Alexander was a radical participant in the making of South African history.


11 Library Road,Upper Campus, Rondebosch







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